Dhanbad: Claiming it to be the place of worship of tribal deity Marang Buru, former MP and national president of Adivasi Sengal, Salkhan Murmu, on Monday announced that they would launch an indefinite rail roko agitation to reclaim Parasnath hill in Giridih district from February 11. Addressing a press conference in Dhanbad on Monday, he also allegedly threatened to demolish the Jain temple at Parasnath if it is not returned to the tribals.
He said, “Adivasi Sengal has already launched a Marang Buru Bachao Bharat Yatra from January 17 and organised protest rallies at 50 district headquarters of five states. Since none of the government agencies have listenED to our demands so far, we have decided to launch an indefinite ‘Rail Roko’ agitation from February 11.” He claimed that Marang Buru Jug Jaher Than at Parasnath is no less important for tribals than Ram temple at Ayodhya for the Hindus. “If the central government, the state government and the national minority commission do not restore it back to the tribals, we also may consider demolishing the Jain temple and demanded Union government to convene all party dialogue and constitute a national commission to solve the dispute without further delay. Tribals have the first right over their place of worship at Parasnath hills and even the British had settled this issue in favour of tribals in 1911,” he said, accusing chief minister Hemant Soren of “selling” the sacred place of Santhal tribes to the Jains.
Replying to a query, Murmu blamed the CM of befooling the people in the name of 1932 Khatiyan-based domicile policy. Recently, governor Ramesh Bais had sent the bill back to the state government for review. He said, “The state government should reserve 90% government jobs for rural population, and it should be distributed block wise as per the population of respective castes in different blocks following the reservation rules. This way the government would not be required to formulate any separate law.” A row erupted over the sanctity of Parasnath hill since 2022 after Jain community staged a series of nationwide stirs accusing the government of trying it to turn it into a tourist spot.

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